Water
Supreme Court Holds CITGO Is Liable In 2004 Philly Oil Spill – Must Pay for Clean up

Supreme Court Holds CITGO Is Liable In 2004 Philly Oil Spill – Must Pay for Clean up

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that under the Oil Pollution Act and the terms of its contract with the shipping company, CITGO Asphalt Refinery must repay the government and the shipper for the $133 million they spent to clean up the 6000 barrel oil spill that occurred when the oil tanker hit an abandoned […]

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Water Treatment Is More Crucial Now Than Ever – But Got No $$ in the Stimulus

Water Treatment Is More Crucial Now Than Ever – But Got No $$ in the Stimulus

By Zoey Shipley and Monica Medina Drinking water and wastewater utilities – many of which are run by state and local governments – did not get dedicated assistance in the Stimulus package the House of Representatives will vote on today, even though they are going to face steeply declining revenue when people and businesses can’t […]

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The Fight For Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Continues – Will Canada Join It?

The Fight For Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Continues – Will Canada Join It?

Twin Metals Minnesota, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chilean mining giant Antofagasta, has been working to get a permit to build and operate a large copper-nickel mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a million acres of pristine of forest and lakes that straddles the U.S.-Canadian border. 

Why This Matters:  This project is a continued attack on federally protected lands and provides a false sense of economic security to the region.

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World Water Day Focuses on Climate Change

World Water Day Focuses on Climate Change

Yesterday was World Water Day and the focus this year was on the interconnectedness of water and climate change. As 2020 was set to be a critical year for climate action (though the coronavirus outbreak could change that), it’s timely to bring attention to how a warming planet affects the world’s water supplies and exacerbates […]

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DoD Admits It Will Take Decades To Clean PFAS From Water Supplies

DoD Admits It Will Take Decades To Clean PFAS From Water Supplies

Last week the Defense Department (DoD) reported that 250 more installations had tested positive for PFAS contamination, and now they admit that it will take 30 years at least to test each site for PFAS, identify how the chemical has spread and then complete the cleanup. 

Why This Matters:  Many states are imposing limits well below the EPA’s 70 parts per trillion (ppt) guidance, but the DoD will only clean up drinking water that is above the EPA recommended level.

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New DoD Study Shows that 250 More Military Installations Have PFAS Contamination

New DoD Study Shows that 250 More Military Installations Have PFAS Contamination

DoD’s PFAS Task Force issued a report in which it admitted that the number of military installations that could be contaminated with the “forever chemicals” is far greater than they previously thought — the number jumped from 401 to 651.

Why This Matters:  DoD is continuing to document its failures and is not acting with enough urgency to address the toxic contamination at its installations, large and small across the country.

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Public Pressure Over PFAS Chemical Contamination Forces EPA to Regulate Them

Public Pressure Over PFAS Chemical Contamination Forces EPA to Regulate Them

Late last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would soon set legal limits for two PFAS chemicals in drinking water. 

Why This Matters: This announcement is certainly progress — but no limits have been set yet and we would not be this close to having them if it were not for huge pressure on the EPA from lawmakers and the public.

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Trump Gives California Farmers More Water — Costing Salmon and Salmon Fishermen Theirs

Trump Gives California Farmers More Water — Costing Salmon and Salmon Fishermen Theirs

In a blatantly political move, last Wednesday President Trump in California signed an executive order diverting water from rivers where it keeps alive endangered salmon and other fish populations, in order to give it to farmers, a move which he announced in a visit to the Central Valley thereby keeping a campaign promise from 2016.  […]

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States Step Up to Restrict Bottled Water Companies From Tapping Groundwater

States Step Up to Restrict Bottled Water Companies From Tapping Groundwater

Activists from California to Florida have been fighting bottled water companies who tap local aquifers, pay very little for the right to do so, and end up depleting aquifers in order to sell that water to consumers in plastic bottles. Now Washington state might soon become the first in the nation to ban water bottling […]

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Wildfires Increasingly Threaten Drinking Water

Wildfires Increasingly Threaten Drinking Water

As climate change lengthens wildfire season, government officials are being faced with a growing threat: ash and fire debris contaminating public drinking water supplies. As the Colorado Sun explained, “Forests, grasslands and other areas that supply drinking water to hundreds of millions of people are increasingly vulnerable to fire due in large part to hotter, […]

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EPA’s Regulatory Leniency Allows Cities to Continue Raw Sewage Overflows

EPA’s Regulatory Leniency Allows Cities to Continue Raw Sewage Overflows

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the “Environmental Protection Agency has made it easier for cities to keep dumping raw sewage into rivers by letting them delay or otherwise change federally imposed fixes to their sewer systems.”  

Why This Matters:  The Obama Administration started the practice of giving cities a break on sewage overflows but according to officials from the prior administration, the bar was higher — a city had to demonstrate a hardship event like a natural disaster in order to get leniency.

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Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Severely Limiting Clean Water Act

Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Severely Limiting Clean Water Act

The Trump Administration on Thursday made official a controversial rule to drastically limit the application of the Clean Water Act, finalizing its proposal that has been uniformly criticized by environmental groups and the agency’s own science advisors because it will lead to the contamination of groundwater, many intermittent water bodies, and drinking water supplies and the elimination of many wetlands. 

Why This Matters: They call it the “The Navigable Waters Protection Rule” but nothing could be further from the truth because now pollution can enter big waterways and the ocean from smaller ones and from wetlands that are no longer protected.  More pesticides, more PFAS, more chemicals, more waste — and we won’t know it because these discharges and wetlands destruction will all be “perfectly” legal.

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